Washing clothes is like a never ending cycle in our house, I get to enjoy about 2 minutes of an empty wash basket before I clean the boys room and suddenly find a full load of washing buried under their beds!
I’ve tried every method I can find to try and make the task easier, the washing, drying, folding and putting away. I always end up feeling like there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do it all, I watched Marie Kondo on Netflix, I even read her book. In the hopes of getting our house organised and in a better routine, now there’s much of what she does I just cannot deal with, kids come with a lot of stuff and our house just isn’t big enough for us all. So we have a lot of stuff, things I cannot simply get rid of for a more minimalist look.
But the one thing I did try was her idea of file folding clothes, it took some time to get to grips with and obviously I had to spend a lot of time going through everyones wardrobes and chest of drawers to fold the clothes already there. Once it was all done though I was impressed, you can fit more clothes in those spaces without having to ram items in, meaning the drawers are less likely to break. Also it means everyone can see their clothes as soon as they pull drawers out and only have to grab a t.shirt or a pair of trousers without having to rummage, which means I don’t have to spend ages picking clothes up that have been thrown on the floor, in their quest to locate that one t.shirt they desperately wanted which was buried at the bottom of the pile.
I’ll be honest it takes a little longer to fold clothes than just basic folding, but for me the time spent the other side looking for clothes in the morning, trying to keep clothes in the drawers and crease free far out weighs how long it takes to fold. As soon as I open my draw with all my tops in I can see instantly what’s there, so if I really want to wear my south side serpents top, I can locate it or see that it’s in the wash without having to pull out 7 black t.shirts looking for it, only to discover it’s probably in the wash!
Find how to file fold here.
I don’t iron, I’ve tried ironing as soon as clothes are dry to then put away, but seriously I just end up constantly having to get the iron out, I can do two loads of washing some days. So this isn’t practical, I only iron the kids school uniform or clothes that absolutely have to be ironed. I find with file folding once the clothes have been given a good shake before folding they remain crease free, saving me more time.
The kids can also help with putting away, they take their clothes in batches of trousers, tops, pyjamas etc and just stack them in rows. Once everything is folded it literally takes minutes to put it all away.
I have a basket system for folding find the link here.
I aim to wash one load of clothes every day, once dry I will always aim to fold them and put them away, sometimes this doesn’t happen because life gets in the way, but I do try to attempt to do so, so they’re out the way. I’ve tried several routines on washing and it gives me chronic anxiety, when I inevitably mess the system up or something unexpected happens. So for me I just try to keep everything as simple as possible, and also the British weather is so unpredictable, I can’t stick to “this day you wash this, that day you wash that” I have a tumble dryer but if I dedicate one day to say bedding, and I need the dryer then I find I’m having to spend hours drying it all, with having to change 4 beds. We like many British households don’t have a laundry room, our washer and dryer both live in our exceptionally tiny kitchen (and I mean tiny! if there’s two of us in there it’s a bit of a squish!) We’ve had to sacrifice our side door in the kitchen, because there’s about a 2ft drop out the door in to the side alley to the back garden, but also because we needed the dryer in the kitchen. When it lived in the garage we’d inevitably forget we’d put clothes on to dry, only to find them still wet when we remembered, and also Kris has since made it into a studio so he can’t work if the dryers on.
Find my simple routine I live by with dealing with laundry here.
Also published on Medium.